Hair Modeling: My Experiences

1 September, 2009

These days, if you go on Craigslist and look in the beauty section, you’ll see all sorts of ads from salons looking for hair models. We aren’t talking the kind that do the hair shows-we are talking something completely different. In this day and age, with more and more high-end or semi-high-end salons opening, you will see a lot more “apprentice” programs, where the stylist is a junior stylist (lower prices due to less experience) or in many cases, the stylists have just graduated beauty school. Part of their job is that they have to do advanced training classes, and to help? They use live models. Yes, people like you and me. Typically they have a very specific thing they have to do-the graduated bob is a very popular one, and straight line cuts are a requirement as well (for technical abilities). They also sometimes do perms, and then colour-one that has to get done a lot, and for good reason, is grey coverage. In return for getting the cut or colour that they need, the service is typically either free, or at a reduced cost (in many cases, just money to cover the product), as it’s an educational thing for them! For people like myself, who are not only on limited budgets but don’t really care, to an extent, what is done with our hair, hair modeling is a great thing to do. They win because they get a live person to practice with, I win because I get my hair done at little to no cost.The first time I hair modeled, it was for a salon on Capitol Hill here in Seattle called Rudy’s. The atmosphere of the salon is amazing, as it’s very young and fun. It definitely fits in with the whole Capitol Hill scene. The cut of the day was a razored, layered bob, to practice some techniques. Rudy’s is a Bumble & bumble salon, and the interesting thing was that my stylist did not use any clips, rather a holding spray to keep parts separate while she was razoring the hair. I got a lot taken off that day-I’d say 2-5″, depending on the area. After an hour and a half, I walked out of the salon with a very fun, shaggy bob that hit about the chin at the longest place. The beauty of it is that it was totally razored, which really helped to bring out the natural curl that my hair has. It also is a more time-intensive way of cutting hair, but the results truly speak for themselves. It’s been two months and I honestly could wait another month or so before going back in for a haircut. It can blowdry easily, it can be styled without a ton of effort, if I want it out of my face I just need 15 bobby pins to get it pinned up, and best yet? It airdries very well also, which is good because I rarely ever blow-dry my hair. I am going back to Rudy’s to get my hair cut here in the next little bit, and if you live in Seattle or Portland, I highly recommend them. They do hair model calls fairly frequently-about one a month, from my observations-and it seems like it’s more of advanced training and technique classes for their core stylists, as each haircare brand has their own cuts and techniques and as you go from salon to salon, there are a lot of little nuances that you have to learn. For Bumble & bumble, they’re big on the razor, or at least it seems to be that way!

My second, and most recent experience, was actually yesterday. Mode Salon here in Seattle was doing a colour class, and the thing that piqued my interest was the fact that it was organic colour. Mode is an organic salon, which I find very important (with trying to live a somewhat-green life) and they happened to have THE creator of the Organic Colour System, Hilton Bell, teaching a class. This was different as this was not just people from the salon-people had come from all over just to learn about the Organic Colour System from Hilton himself, who flew out from Florida. A word about Hilton? This guy is a legend, at least in my eyes. I am just in awe of him. More on that later, though. Each of the five of us models went up one by one to the hot seat, where he took a look at our hair, skin, and eyes (to get an idea of the colour to go for), asked us what we wanted and were open to doing, and then he was able to pinpoint it exactly. He then would go over and demonstrate some of the techniques if necessary, which for my hair involved “triangles”, where the hair is done in sections for layered colour. He’s big on saran wrap as well, it’s flexible and works really well for when you are doing a layered colour. My colour was arguably the most complicated of the bunch-a dark, dark brown base colour (darker than my eyebrows, actually), a caramel/toffee as the middle, and then a blonde as the top. It’s not platinum blonde but it’s still really nice. The colour system is great. My hair does feel a little dry on the bleached areas, but that is to be expected. Thankfully they put leave-in conditioner in, just to get it feeling better. I didn’t feel any burning or irritation, thanks to the organic system, which uses heat as opposed to ammonia to get the colour to penetrate the cuticle. My stylist, Natalie (who works at Nurture salon down in Portland) was awesome. If I drove, I would drive the 3+ hours to Portland just to get my hair coloured by her. After everyone got their colour done (I was the last because I had so much to do), Hilton went around to everyone, and in the case of a few people, took some scissors to their hair to give it some movement and shape, to make it better. He didn’t spend as much time on my hair, since I came in with a cut already (although it was dumpy that day) and all I needed afterwards was a little blowout and voila, perfect hair! The only downside is that yes, it will be a lot of work as far as upkeep goes, so I may go a red over the bleached areas once growout starts, as I can’t go back in and get the roots touched up every few weeks. The one thing is for sure though-I definitely will go back for more colour modeling.

If you are interested in being a hair model, the easiest place to look is the “Beauty” section on Craigslist, and check often, because ads get posted all the time (at least here in Seattle) and if you don’t see any that you are interested in right away, try again! I also know that some salons (Regis is one that I saw an ad in their window for) do have model rosters, so that is something to try out. Finally, what some people do in the Beauty section on CL is they will post an ad saying “I can be a hair model!” or something along those lines, and then put the details of what they are needing/wanting in the body of the post. I know that this is not my last time hair modeling, and I highly recommend it to all!

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